A good number of names and faces may have changed during the offseason, but the bullpen still remains the biggest strength of the Cleveland Indians. Gone from last year are mainstays Rafael Perez and Tony Sipp. Also sent away in the winter was Esmil Rogers, who became a key contributor to the 2012 relief staff.
Tribe General Manager Chris Antonetti spent the offseason collecting relief pitchers the way some people collect baseball cards and stamps. He held fast to that old saying of never having enough pitching. Newcomers to this season’s pen include Matt Albers, Rich Hill Bryan Shaw. Nick Hagadone and Cody Allen, a pair of 2012 rookies, have been key contributors so far this season.
By Mike Brandyberry
The picture that is the Indians’ Opening Day 25-man roster is starting to become clearer by the day.
Friday night, WTAM’s Nick Camino tweeted that Cody Allen will open the season in the Tribe’s bullpen and that Indians’ Manager Terry Francona told him last week. Allen has had an electric spring, with Francona commenting how he came to camp with something to prove.
“He obviously knows he’s coming to camp with something to prove,” Francona said earlier this month. “He looks like he is in midseason form. You never tell a guy to back off, but it’s obvious he worked hard and prepared for Spring Training because his stuff is electric.”
By Ronnie Tellalian
Left-handed relief specialists seems like a relatively new advent in Major League Baseball. The role of a southpaw pitcher coming out of the bullpen to face primarily left-handed hitters dates back to the 1960’s. Over the last 20 years, the role has really taken off and become a mainstay of the modern bullpen. On Monday, lefty reliever Rich Hill was added to the Indians’ 40-man roster. This move seems like a sure bet that Hill will be the Indians new lefty specialist.
Southpaw pitchers that come in to face mostly left-handed hitters have affectionately been given the nickname LOOGY (or Lefty One-Out GuY). These pitchers sit in the pen with the role of facing opposing left-handed hitters in order to counter offensive platoon advantages. In the traditional view point, it is tougher for a left-handed hitter to face a lefty pitcher as opposed to a right hander. In general, this old adage rings true, although as in many cases, there are a few exceptions to the rule.
During this week’s podcast Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian, Mike Brandyberry and Bob Toth talk about the Tribe’s bullpen. The quartet discuss the locks for the back end of the bullpen in Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith and then …
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the Spring Invitees with a chance to make the Tribe’s Opening Day roster.
By Mike Brandyberry
Left-handed pitching is tough to find and any lefty who has shown promise at the big league level, will receive numerous chances. It may be the only thing keeping Rich Hill at the Major League level.
The Indians signed Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training just last Thursday on Feb. 9. Hill, who will turns 33 on March 11, owns a career Major League record of 23-20 with a 4.60 ERA in 118 games/70 starts with the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox (427.0IP, 384H, 218ER, 192BB, 391K). In his career he has limited Major League hitters to a .240 (384-1598) average against, including a mark of .209 (74-354) vs. left-handed batters (.665OPS). For his career he has averaged 8.24 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.